“Now, place these words of mine upon your heart” (Dt.11:18)—
this indicates that
words of Torah are likened to a life-giving potion.
There is an analogy—
a king was angry with his son,
so he struck him grievously,
and placed a dressing upon his wound.
Then he said:
As long as this dressing is upon your wound
eat what pleases you,
and drink what pleases you,
and bathe in either hot or cold water,
for you will come to no harm.
But, if you remove the dressing,
the wound will immediately become inflamed.
Thus did the Blessed Holy One say to Israel:
I have created within you a compulsion to evil,
and there is nothing worse!
“Surely, if you are good, it will be uplifting” (Gn.4:7)—
you should engage in words of Torah,
so that the compulsion to evil will not control you.
But if you abandon words of Torah—
look, it will control you!
For it is said:
“Sin crouches at the door, desiring you” (Gn.4:7)—
its business is with you alone.
But if you want to, you can control it,
for it is said:
“Yet you can master it” (Gn.4:7).
And it says:
“If your enemy hungers, feed him bread, and you will heap coals upon his head” (Prov.25:21-22).
The compulsion to evil is indeed evil,
and the One Who created it testifies to its evil.
As it is said:
“For the compulsion of the human heart is evil from its youth!” (Gn.8:21)